How can a financial counsellor help you?
Financial counsellors provide a free, confidential and independent service.
Financial counsellors can:
- suggest ways to improve your financial situation.
- see if you are eligible for government assistance.
- negotiate repayment arrangements with your creditors - people or companies to whom you owe money.
- explain your options and their consequences, including debt recovery procedures, bankruptcy and other alternatives.
- help you organise a loan extension, repayment plan etc
- help you organise your finances and do a budget.
- refer you to other services, eg, a gambling helpline, family support, personal counselling or community legal aid.
What to bring to your appointment with the financial counsellor
- any letters, emails, text messages, social media contacts you may have received from your creditors - people/companies to whom you owe money.
- superannuation statements
- income statement / tax return statement (as proof of income)
- any support messages
- medical certificates if relevant
- bills, rental statements.
The National Debt Helpline a national hotline open from 9.30am to 4.30pm, Mondays to Fridays, offers free and confidential advice from professional financial counsellors.
MoneySmart website is a government website run by the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC). You can find out more information about financial counselling here.
Free legal advice If you are facing legal action over debts, you may be able to get free legal advice. Visit the Victoria Legal Aid website or call them directly for more details on 1300 732 387.
Crisis support Call Lifeline's 24 hours crisis support service on 13 11 14 or try their crisis support chat service if you need emotional support.